How to start a podcast, that’s what we are going to learn here. As a podcaster:
As A pOdCaStEr…Anchor.fm/themobshow
This is impressive, one sentence in and I’m ripping myself down. But, I do have a podcast and I get asked frequently about this. No-one ever seems to ask when my next episode is out – just “How do you start a podcast?”
I am guessing it’s because they are starstruck by my mere presence. That or they think my podcasting work sucks, but hey, at least I know how to begin one.
What do you need to start a podcast?
Right okay so for this task you are going to need a few items:
- Microphone or smartphone
- Laptop or still just your smartphone
- An idea of what you want to do
- Pen and paper for prepping some notes
- Either some cool selfies or access to Canva
- A quiet room
That is literally all you need to start a podcast. That and a podcasting platform. So let’s look at a few out there and identify the easiest to use.
If you prefer to listen to our podcast version, done very crudely without edits on Podbead ironically.
How to start a podcast today
First have a look through the list below. All of these are podcasting platforms, which enable you to send your message to the world.
- Google Podcasts
There are actually a ton of places you can go to start a podcast for the first time, but let’s take a look at what I used. I am going to focus on Anchor here because it’s my safe space.
I don’t mean, don’t pick on me, it’s my safe space, I mean that I have used it. So, hopefully, I can explain it a little easier. By the way here’s an episode I made a while back all about starting a shop business.
Right, Anchor. Anchor for me is a great starting off point. It’s free to use and you can even monetise it using their automated advertising scheme. Which is great if you begin to build a following.
Anchor uses an app and desktop dashboard format for making podcasts, you can record it directly off your phone, even call someone and have them appear on it too. Or you can get fancy, grab yourself a microphone and record into sound software such as Audacity.
With such a simple app interface, if you are recording off the hip (As in, not worried about editing.) then it’s easy to add intro music and then save.
From the app, you can add an SEO (search engine friendly) optimised description and publish it. You can go from start to finish in a matter of minutes.
How do I pick a topic to start podcasting?
This is really a large part of the make-or-break for many podcasts. Well, that and marketing. You need to talk about something that others have an interest in. And it’s not just that, you need to cover it in a way that is either funny as hell, informative and different.
No one wants to hear you drone on. nor is anyone going to tune into you talking about UFC if you mumble and have no coherent chat plan. Certainly not when Mr J Rogan is a thumb swipe away.
So here’s my 5 top tips for being the best beginner podcaster you can be
- Find a topic that few have done well
- Be an expert in your field, or at least learn along with the audience
- Listen to yourself talking. Should you slow down? Are there too many ‘urms’?
- Have a structure for your podcast. Keep it coherent and tell people from the outset what they are going to get out of it.
- Think about the visuals and the description. Think about the intro and the outro. Get people excited so they don’t immediately switch off
That really is just a fraction of the things that you will in time need to focus on. But in the beginning, when you’re starting your podcast – just start.
Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the goodVoltaire
What does this quote mean? It means just damn well start, and stop worrying about haters. If you never start you will never be able to start to get better. So step one done – you’ve decided to learn how to start a podcast.
How to find fresh podcasting content in the beginning
Finding content to talk about is even easier when you love what it is your beginner podcasting journey focuses on. I was a mad addict to one awesome show during the Game of Thrones final season:
- Oysters, Clams and Cockles
Hosted by an American, Ross Bolen and his sidekick (sorry buddy) these were riding a crest of a trending topic where the demand outstrips the supply. Maybe you are supreme nerd on a new cult show – ride that wave.
Or perhaps you love a regional sports team. Seriously, sometimes we focus so much on being ‘Worldstar’ we forget that we can get acclaim on a smaller level first. After all, fame is just a collection of individuals who know you. You need to win the individuals before you have the collection.
You might be amazed how many fans will thank you for it, and how many of them live in far-flung places that keep them out of the loop. There might just be a lot of people who want to thank you for learning how to start a podcast.
Or if you love gadgets of any sector, follow the retailers that specialise in them, and monitor their recent photos indexed on google images. If the biggest name has in the last 24 hours released a new product on their site, the chances are now is a great time for a review.
So is it really that easy to begin a podcast?
It’s not hard, it really is that easy to begin a podcast. The question will be, is it a good one.
So to recap. If you want to know how to start a podcast, head to Anchor.fm and sign up. This isn’t a paid ad, it’s just intuitive and even if one day you’re on a mega-money contract with Spotify, this is the first step in your education.
You mentioned microphone
I did mention microphones for podcasting and I recommend grabbing yourself a cheap, simple one such as this one available on Amazon:
Plug it into your laptop and you can record straight into software such as Audacity. Even if you don’t know how to do any fancy edits, it takes minutes to get the hang of pressing the record button and cutting out ‘erms’ as you replay it.
Download it as an MP3 and you can drop it straight into Anchor, for far better audio results.
That’s it – that is how to start a podcast.
Edited: By the way I did record our podcast using Podbean and hated it within minutes of uploading. Then used their dashboard on desktop and didn’t mind it.